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Insurance company making $5 million payment to tornado-damaged schools

The roof was lifted off a second floor classroom in the Herald Whitaker Middle School which suffered serious damage from the tornado that hit Friday night in Salyersville, Ky., Wednesday, March 07, 2012. The town and the schools suffered major damage from tornadoes over the weekend. Charles Bertram | Staff
The roof was lifted off a second floor classroom in the Herald Whitaker Middle School which suffered serious damage from the tornado that hit Friday night in Salyersville, Ky., Wednesday, March 07, 2012. The town and the schools suffered major damage from tornadoes over the weekend. Charles Bertram | Staff Herald-Leader

An insurance company plans to make an initial $5 million payment Tuesday to cover losses to Kentucky school systems from recent severe weather, including the deadly March 2 tornadoes.

Of that, the Magoffin County and Morgan County schools will get $500,000 each, according to a news release from Chartis, which insures Kentucky schools through the Kentucky School Boards Insurance Trust.

Chartis is expediting the payment in an effort to help schools recover as quickly as possible, spokeswoman Marie Ali said.

Tornado damage displaced more than 1,000 students in Magoffin County, according to the Chartis release.

Local officials are trying to find other classroom space for students and hope to reopen March 19. Work includes refurbishing an old school.

Chartis said the $5 million is an advance payment, meaning the total insured losses might be greater.

The insurance trust is a member-owned trust that provides insurance to more than 100 Kentucky school districts, according to the news release. It is administered by the Kentucky League of Cities.

Several other districts have filed claims for storm damage, including the Fulton, Hart, Johnson, Lawrence, Meade, Morgan, Rowan and Whitley County districts and the Paintsville Independent system, according to the news release.

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